Saturday, January 2, 2021

THE MAD DOCTOR OF MARKET STREET - "Genius - Or Fiend?" (1942)

The first Saturday Night Special of the year 2021 is a cool little classic titled "The Mad Doctor Of Market Street," that was made in 1942, and clocks in at just a minute over and hour, which in my world, is exactly how long any film should be.

This is a tale of a Doctor who isn't intentionally bad, but becomes a killer when his whole world turns to shit, after a patient of his dies from his experimentation!

Indeed "The Mad Doctor Of Market Street" is a Universal movie, and if Universal Studios ever opens back up, I'm sure you would be able to recognize this set on the tram ride.

The classic Lionel Atwill is Dr. Ralph Benson, and when I say classic, I'm talking "House Of Dracula," "House Of Frankenstein," "Man Made Monster" etc.

Dr. Benson is working on trying to bring people back from the dead. He just paid this poor stiff a thousand dollars to be put under, but something has gone wrong, and he can't bring the guy back from the dead as planned!

The Police get involved, and Dr. Benson bails, and disappears into the night!

Next thing you know he shows up on this ship headed to Australia!

The authorities somehow know he's on this cruise, and they're pretty sure he has changed his identity, but even though all he did was shave off his beard, still nobody recognizes him.

Benson hears this Detective talking about him, so he pushes him overboard to shut him up!

Una (The Maltese Falcon) Merkel as Aunt Margaret, provides a lot of the delightful comedy relief, and in this scene, she is going around telling everybody what she heard about the man overboard, and the man who did it, even the murderer himself!

Next thing you know, the ship is on fire and engulfed in flames, and everybody has to get loaded into the life boats.

One lifeboat that has Dr. Benson, a couple of crew members, Aunt Margaret and her niece Patricia, and a big palooka named Red Hogan in it, washes up on the beach of some island in the middle of nowhere, and they don't get the warmest welcome in the world from the locals.
Patricia was played by Claire (The Black Cat) Dodd, and Red was played Nat (Scared To Death) Pendleton who won the heavyweight wrestling silver medal in the 1920 Olympics.

One of the native women on the island is sick and dies, and Dr. Benson miraculously brings her back to life, and stops the natives from throwing all their asses in a big bonfire. Actually she had just had a heart attack, and was not dead, and the shot of Adrenalin he gives her, snaps her back to life!
Now the natives think Dr. Benson is a God!

Here's a great shot of the supporting cast. The other two guys are, on the left, John (I Married A Monster From Outer Space, High Sierra) Eldredge as Ship Officer Dwight, and Richard (The Falcon In Danger) Davies as Jim, the Deck Stewart and Patricia's lover.

Jim and Patricia are falling in love, and Dr. Benson doesn't like it, so he chooses Jim for his next 'bring 'em back to life' experiment!

The only way that Patricia can save Jim is to marry the Doctor!

The natives put a nice wedding ceremony together for them.

In the end, everything goes completely to Hell for the Doctor. In a failed escape attempt, Dwight ends up drowning one of the native boys, and when the Doctor cannot resuscitate him, the natives all turn on him, realizing that he's a phony, and not a God after all.

In the confusion, the rest of the gang manages to escape, and a rescue team spots them just in time, lands on the beach, and scoops them up and takes them up and away to safety, and the Doctor is left behind to fend for himself, which is not going to go well for him at all.

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